Overview

Reproductive carrier screening gives individuals and couples information about their chance of having a child with an inherited genetic condition. You can have carrier screening when you are planning to get pregnant, or in early pregnancy. About 1-2% of couples who have screening find out they have an increased chance of having a child with an inherited genetic condition.

(Archibald, A. D., et al (2018). Reproductive genetic carrier screening for cystic fibrosis, fragile X syndrome, and spinal muscular atrophy in Australia: outcomes of 12,000 tests. Genetics in Medicine, 20(5), 513-523.)

View our interactive guide to learn more about carrier screening and decide if this test is right for you.

View screening guide

If you’ve discussed carrier screening with your doctor and have a completed test request form or doctor access code, click purchase test to order and pay for testing.

What is this test?

VCGS offers two carrier screening options:

  • prepair carrier screening – looks for three common genetic conditions.
  • prepair+ carrier screening – looks at over 250 genetic conditions.

Cost

  • The prepair test costs $389 (AUD) per individual. It is recommended that the biological mother (or prospective biological mother) is screened first (partner testing is free if required). Results usually available within 2 weeks.
  • prepair+ screening costs approximately $900 (AUD) per couple. It is recommended that both partners are tested at the same time. Results are available within 5-6 weeks.

Both types of screening are not currently covered by Medicare or private health insurance.

What conditions does this test look for?

prepair carrier screening

prepair looks for three common genetic conditions in our population: cystic fibrosis (CF), fragile X syndrome (FXS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Testing is also available for these conditions individually (please contact us for information).

prepair+ carrier screening

This test looks at over 250 genetic conditions. This includes both common and rare conditions.

*prepair+ is a package offered by VCGS. Testing is performed by an overseas partner, with additional genetic interpretation, clinical support and genetic counselling provided by VCGS in Melbourne.

How do I arrange a test?

Step 1: Discuss reproductive carrier screening with your doctor or genetic counsellor – including the difference between prepair and prepair+ options. If appropriate, they will complete a test request form.

Step 2:

  • For prepair - testing can be performed using blood or saliva. On our website you can find blood collection sites or, order a saliva kit and pay for testing.
  • For prepair+ - email a copy of your request form to [email protected] and we will send you specific saliva kits. If you’re already pregnant, we may organise blood samples from both partners instead.

Step 3: Results will be available from your doctor. In some cases, your doctor might refer you to one of our genetic counsellors for your results.

Talk to us.

Comprehensive information and support is freely available with reproductive carrier screening. We can answer all of your questions.

P: (03) 9936 6402
E: [email protected]

Frequently asked questions

What happens if prepair shows I’m a carrier?

If you are found to be a carrier of CF, FXS or SMA, one of our genetic counsellors will contact your doctor to discuss the result, and further testing options.

Do I need carrier screening every time I get pregnant?

No. Once your carrier status is known, you do not need to be re-tested. If you are a carrier of one of these conditions and you have a new partner, your partner may need to be tested.

How will I get my results?

prepair results will be faxed and delivered electronically (where available) to your referring doctor. This can take up to two weeks.

Results for prepair+ carrier screening can take 4-6 weeks.

I’ve received an invoice from VCGS – how do I pay?

After testing is complete, patients will receive an invoice. This can be paid by phone using BPAY or credit card, or by mail using a money order or cheque. Payment methods are detailed on the invoice.

If you wish to speak with someone about your invoice: Free Call: 1300 557 779.